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Garage Doors Problems & Maintenance Tips

By Mike Holmes

Mike’s Advice / Home Safety & Maintenance

Friday, June 19th, 2020 @ 10:18am
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I love my garage – it’s my place to get away from it all. Some people have their yoga room, for me, it’s my garage. Whenever I’m able to arrange some free time off the job site and spend some time at home, you can usually find me working – or relaxing, in my happy place.

A friend of mine was trying to increase the tension on the garage door by herself with no one around. The garage door, while she was working on it, came crashing down on her face. It was a terrible accident and she had serious injuries.

Learning how to maintain your garage door is important to keeping your doors operating efficiently. It’s also a safety issue. Unfortunately, I’ve heard of a couple of instances of serious accidents from garage doors falling on people and children.

Knowing how to inspect it, lubricate it and watching out for red flags is important. The pros at Canadian Door Doctor recommend once a year quick check, including balance and safety feature checks, and applying lube.

NOTE: The garage door is typically the largest moving item on a house. It also serves as the most common point of entry, think of how many times a day you walk under the garage door, and think of how important it is that the door is properly installed and running safely. I believe it is underrated in terms of importance!

I asked the experts at Canadian Door Doctor to answer some of your common garage door questions and provide some garage door maintenance tips:

1. IS IT SAFE TO REPAIR A GARAGE DOOR YOURSELF (DIY)?


There are some repairs that can be done yourself, but some can be extremely dangerous if you don’t have the expertise. I always recommend bringing in a pro. They have years of experience and will do the job right the first time. What you could do on your own is an inspection of your garage door to see if anything is loose or out-of-balance.

NOTE: If you are looking for a garage door expert in the Greater Toronto and surrounding areas, Garage Door Doctor is the best company out there.

2. HOW CAN I FIX A NOISY GARAGE DOOR?


Wondering why you hear a noise with each garage door opening and closing? The most common fix is to apply some lubricant. However, the wrong lube (for example grease) will make the noise worse. If you get the proper lubricant, lubricate the tracks where the rollers run.

Disconnect the opener before you do this.

3. WHY WON’T MY GARAGE DOOR CLOSE?


I hear this all the time. The most common reason for a door not closing is an obstruction at the bottom of your door, ie the “photo eyes” are misaligned. The number 1 reason for this is people commonly store things such as hockey sticks near the front of the garage, and the eyes get knocked out of alignment.

4. WHY IS THERE WATER AT THE BOTTOM OF MY GARAGE DOOR?


If you are noticing water pooling up at the bottom of your garage door, it may be because of the bottom seal. Take a look at the bottom of your garage door. You want to see a weather seal that’s slightly longer than the garage door, and tucked in.

Other common reasons for water in that area include:

  • Driveway sloping the wrong way
  • Garage doors facing west typically get more rain

Now, if you are looking to have new garage doors install, keep the following in mind:

Keep Your Garage Safe


Your garage can be home for a lot of the valuables that don’t fit in your home. While you’ve probably already taken steps to protect your home from intruders – have you given that same thought to your garage?

For attached garages – treat the service door that allows access to your garage as you would any other exterior door. Have a good, strong deadbolt and strike plate – and keep the door locked at all times.

Trust A Professional


I know I say this about almost every home improvement project, but hiring a garage door specialist is a smart decision. The pros bring in the proper tools and materials to do an inspection and maintenance and fix anything that needs fixing.

A few years ago, I hired a company to install my garage doors. Then someone recommended a different company to set up the garage door opener. When the second team of professionals came in, they showed me how terribly wrong the installation was. Always trust a pro.

NOTE: DON’T DIY WHEN IT COMES TO GARAGE DOOR INSTALLATION

The counterbalance system is tricky- it consists of the spring(s), shaft, cables, cable drums, and working with torsion springs.

Material Choices Available For Garage Doors


For garage doors, the most common and affordable material is steel, but garage doors also come in fiber glass, aluminum, glass and wood. Wood doors will need to be checked for water damage and warp, as well as chipped and peeling paint. 

Warranties on garage doors can also vary from lifetime to a number of years, depending on your needs.

For Holmes+Holmes season 1, my son Mike Jr chose a beautiful garage door that gives him an R value of over 17. It’s steel on both sides with a wood grain look. Mike calls it the “hottest garage door on the block”.

Garage Door Openers


Garage door openers have come a long way. Now you can have add-on options such as smart openers (can connect to your wi-fi devices from anywhere in the world).

Garages are practical additions to most homes offering a storage space for cars, tools, and other household items. For those of you lucky enough to have a big enough space – your garage can also include a workshop, or a spot to hang out and have a few cold ones.

READ NEXT: If you protect your home from the outside, it will protect you on the inside. Read my tips on how to have a safe and durable home.

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